Quotations from Saint Josemaria
Facing up to the fear of death
Listen, my son, I’ll tell you something I heard not long ago. A friend of yours whom you may not know personally – he runs several businesses, he’s a very busy man, and constantly on the move from one place to another – told me that he frequently has meetings with other colleagues to draw up three-year plans or five-year plans for their businesses. And he said, ‘It’s terrific to see how they think of every single contingency, absolutely everything that can happen. There’s just one thing missing, and so I say to them, “You’ve foreseen this, and that, and that other thing… Have you foreseen the fact that we may die?” It’s unbelievable! They hadn’t foreseen it, and it’s the one thing in life that’s certain!’
Death, my children, is not an unwelcome step. For us, death is the opening of the door to Love, Love with a capital letter, the door to happiness, rest, and joy. We shouldn’t look forward to it with fear. Obviously, doctors consider death from other points of view, but a Christian doctor like you – I can see how you consider it yourself, and God bless you for it! – Christian doctors should approach it in a positive way. And so should everyone else. Death isn’t the end, it’s the beginning. For Christians, dying doesn’t mean dying: it means Living. Living, with a capital letter. So don’t be afraid of death.
Face up to death. Meet it head-on. Take account of the fact that it will come. Why should you be scared? Why bury your head in the sand, get frightened, panic? Lord, death is Life. Lord, for Christians, death is rest, and it’s Love, and I’m sticking to that. Is that what you wanted me to tell you?
Extract from San Josemaria y los enfermos, Miguel Angel Monge, Madrid: Palabra, 2004.
List of Contents
- What are “the Last Things”?
- Guardian Angels
- A priest and nothing but a priest
- Hidden God
- Stay with us
- On the feast of Pentecost
- Early Christians
- Loyalty to the Church
- What is Holy Week?
- Here I am!
- The Holy Rosary
- Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
- New Year: beginning again each day
- Facing up to the fear of death